The top two flyweight fighters in UFC are about to face off this weekend in the main event of UFC Fight Night, and for the second time they’ll compete for the currently vacant title. Deiveson Figueiredo holds the top spot and will face Joseph Benavidez for the second time this year on Saturday. Figueiredo defeated Benavidez via TKO in a February match, but missed his chance to claim the title after missing weight. Will things pan out differently on Fight Island?
Figueiredo has an 18-1 record and suffered the only loss of his career to Jussier Formiga in 2019. He’s considered to be the most dominant fighter in his weight class for a reason and already has a second-round victory against Benavidez under his belt. His ground game far superior to Benavidez’s, averaging 1.81 takedowns per 15 minutes of octagon time with a 50% accuracy rate.
Benavidez is 28-6 and hasn’t been nearly as active as Figueiredo as of late. The fight he lost in February was his first since January of 2019. He’s more of a mobile fighter that wants to stand up and strike, but will be able to find a way to execute his game plan? It’s unclear how much he’s been able to really prepare during the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s lost two of the five fights he’s been in since June of 2018.
Figueiredo tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the bout, but has since tested negative and been cleared to fly to Abu Dhabi. He initially tested positive for antibodies after contracting the virus months ago, according to PVT’s Marcelo Alonso. Whether that will impact his effectiveness remains to be seen.
Here are the betting odds and bet splits so far at DraftKings Sportsbook for Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez at UFC Fight Night from Fight Island on July 18th:
Money line odds
Deiveson Figueiredo: -230
Joseph Benavidez: +185
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